By: Julius R. Elardo, Agriculturist, Quezon I

Philippine Coconut Authority envisions “a coconut industry that is revitalized, sustainable, and globally competitive supported by empowerment through participation, improved farm productivity, efficient value chains, integrated industry, and responsive researches and applied technologies” by 2022.

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To reach that dream, we start with the basic unit and most important key players of the coconut industry – the coconut farmers. With mature technologies and products of research just around waiting to be applied, empowering them is only a matter of proper and consistent capacity development interventions.

Parallel to that vision, every programs and projects of PCA were designed with the conduct of series of necessary skills training in order to ensure successful project implementation. Aside from the typical lecture-type of training, practical application or hands-on exercises are being done which enable the farmers to better understand and retain the knowledge they learned during the training.

Aside from the numerous one to two-day trainings being conducted in barangay to municipal and provincial level, PCA even adopted the Agricultural Training Institute’s Farm Business School and establish its own various KAANIB Farm Business School across the region. Incorporated in the curriculum is a Lakbay-Aral or actual exposure of the participants in farms adopting Good Agricultural Practices which are ATI-accredited learning sites.

Indeed, learning-by-doing is far better than listening alone as it makes the farmers more interested and enables them to grasp a better understanding of the technicalities. With that, there is higher chance that they will apply the learnings and adopt the technologies thereby leading to greater results of achieving project objectives. As a business magnate and philanthropist said, “the best way of learning about anything is by doing”. To our coconut farmers, may you continue learning! To PCA, may we continue empowering!